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NEWS IN BRIEF

Two face charges in fatal shooting

A 31-year-old Buffalo man was fatally shot in the head Saturday in a dispute with two men outside an East Side restaurant, authorities said.

Homicide Squad detectives identified the victim as Robert D. Gamble of Leroy Avenue. Witnesses said he had been involved in an argument and one of the two men pulled out a handgun and shot Gamble once in the head.

The shooting occurred at about 4:20 a.m. in front of For Pete's Sake Restaurant on the 2300 block of Fillmore Avenue.

Nathaniel Washington, 22, of Goemble Avenue, was charged with second-degree murder and possession of a weapon; Michael Ott, 23, of Plymouth Avenue, was charged with possession of a weapon, police said.

They were stopped in their vehicle at about 4:40 a.m. on Niagara Falls Boulevard near Meyer Road by Amherst Police Officer Michael Camilleri.

Events focus on fighting drug abuse

Parades, rallies and dozens of other events are scheduled in Western New York to highlight the fight against drug abuse in observance of National Red Ribbon Week, Tuesday through Oct. 31.

Activities will begin a day early, Monday, with "Plant the Promise Day," during which many schools will plant red-tulip bulbs in ceremonies on school grounds. Each tulip will represent a child's promise to stay drug-free.

Thousands will take part in "Take a Stand" Wednesday, wearing red and displaying banners on street corners from 4 to 5 p.m. in Niagara County and 5 to 6 p.m. in Erie County. Many participants then will attend a Family Fun Night from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Market Place Building on the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg.

Planned for Oct. 27 are the Jack-o'-Lantern Fall Classic 5K Race, starting at 10 a.m. in Goat Island Park, Niagara Falls, and the KISS 98.5 Boo Bash from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Western New York Event Center, 11145 Main St., Clarence.

Tri-County, Lake Shore hospitals to join

Tri-County Memorial Hospital in Gowanda and Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving will merge at the start of 2002, officials announced.

The new entity, TLC Health Network, will become an affiliate of Kaleida Health, which operates five hospitals, four nursing homes and more than 50 ambulatory sites in the region.

Tri-County already is an affiliate of Kaleida as a result of its 1992 affiliation with Buffalo General Hospital, of the Kaleida hospitals.

James H. Campbell, interim chief executive officer of Tri-County, has been named head of the TLC Health Network.

Art conservation open house Friday

Buffalo State College's art conservation department, one of only four of its kind in North America, will hold its annual open house Friday.

The event, from 6 to 8 p.m., will take place in the Art Conservation Suite on the second floor of the North Corridor of Rockwell Hall, on the college's Elmwood Avenue campus.

Faculty members and students will be on hand to explain and demonstrate the principles and practice of art conservation.

Buffalo State's art conservation program, founded in 1970, has alumni working in such major institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Art Institute of Chicago.

To make a reservation for the open house, call 878-5025.

Low-cost health insurance for children

The March of Dimes will offer information about how to get free or low-cost health insurance for children who are not insured from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Kmart store, 1701 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.

"This is a valuable opportunity to reach hard-working low- and moderate-income families who are eager to give their children the security that comes with good health care coverage," said Steve Carmina, Western New York Division chairman of the March of Dimes. He noted there are 707,000 uninsured children in New York.

Blues add feedback tool to Web site

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York has upgraded its Web site, incorporating a feedback feature for customers who want to complain or offer compliments.

"Through our Web site, we're asking our customers to tell us what they think about us," said Nora McGuire, senior vice president of marketing and business development.

A new "Click and Comment" feature, developed by PlanetFeedback.com, allows anyone to send a letter with a question, suggestion, compliment or complaint to the giant health insurance company. In addition to responding to specific messages, the feature summarizes the feedback, allowing company executives to see patterns and group administrators to see how their employees feel about Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

On the Web site -- www.bcbswny.com -- customers can also check participating physicians, find a list of covered medications and fill out enrollment applications.

Prostate cancer group plans event

The Buffalo Niagara Prostate Cancer Consortium will hold an open house from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Department of Radiation.

The event will showcase standard treatment options, such as surgery and radiation therapy.

Information also will be available to patients and their families on support and advocacy services provided by local branches of UsToo!, an international program for prostate cancer patients.

For information, call 845-3173.

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